Did you perform a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather events, persistently high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy because of other means, like drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service professional to complete a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out where energy is being wasted and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient renovations, which may include exchanging your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often provide information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This can be a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it will cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health conditions, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself may not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a broad understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks around the home’s foundation, siding and mortar. Plug, caulk or seal any air leaks to save money.
- Examine insulation. If your home is older, it could mean your insulation is too. If you can see the joists, you likely need more insulation.
- Check the ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact County Line Mechanical LLC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at County Line Mechanical LLC today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Reinholds with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.